1.4 million cars across the UK are never used

April 24, 2024 by

Are you sitting on an untapped windfall? If you have a car you don’t use, you could be holding onto an asset worth thousands.

And you are not alone – around 1.4 million cars are never driven, according to our newest figures. Just 4% of drivers told us that they own a set of wheels they never use, but this adds up to a staggering 1.4 million cars across the nation.[1]

Using the latest numbers from the SMMT on car registrations, we calculated 4% of the total number of cars across the UK. This means there are millions of vehicles sitting idle on driveways or forgotten in garages across the country.

The value of the UK’s unused cars

We estimate that these cars left unused on kerbs have a total value of £9.5 billion.[2] With this much money tied up in cars that aren’t ever driven, many drivers could sell up and cash in when the time is right.

Our sales data gives an average vehicle valuation of £6,717, meaning that across the UK, cars that are never used could hold a value in the billions. By getting their unused car valued and choosing to sell, many drivers can gain a substantial cash boost by getting rid of a vehicle they don’t ever use.

Which cars are most demanded by dealers right now?

Getting the highest price for a used car often depends on demand, so we’ve revealed the vehicles that dealers are looking for right now which could fetch the best return. Based on the average number of bids and the gross number of cars sold for makes with at least 100 listings since January 2024, these are the most in-demand according to our dealers[3]:

The top 10 in-demand makes

  1. Volkswagen
  2. BMW
  3. Audi
  4. Volvo
  5. Mercedes
  6. Nissan
  7. Ford
  8. Kia
  9. Hyundai
  10. Vauxhall

If you drive a Volkswagen, a BMW or an Audi, you could be in luck, as these German manufacturers are our dealers’ top three most in-demand makes. Selling one of these cars could get you a better price than expected due to them being in higher demand.

According to our calculations, there could be 115,808 VW cars that are sitting unused across the UK.[4] There may also be around 79,576 BMWs and 74,164 Audis that aren’t being driven that could be sold.

The top 10 in-demand models

  1. Volvo XC40
  2. Nissan Juke
  3. BMW X3
  4. BMW X5
  5. Hyundai i10
  6. Audi Q5
  7. Volkswagen Golf GTD
  8. Kia Picanto
  9. Peugeot 208
  10. Vauxhall Corsa

Do you own one of the top 10 most in-demand cars right now? Whether you’re using it or not, if you’re thinking about selling it then now could be the right time, as demand is high across the nation for these particular models.

Lately, SUVs appear to be the most popular style among dealers, with the Volvo XC40, Nissan Juke plus the BMW X3 and X5 models all making the top four. If you own one of these sports utility vehicles, it could be time to make a move, as they seem to be the most in-demand cars right now.

Get your car valued with Carwow

If you’ve got a car you never use and you’re not sure what price it could sell for, you can get a valuation in seconds with our online tool. We use the latest market data and previous sales through our site to give you an estimate of what your vehicle is worth.

If you’re holding onto a motor because of the hassle of advertising and selling it yourself, Carwow offers a quick and easy solution. We advertise your car to thousands of trusted dealers across the UK who’ll bid for your vehicle in online auctions, allowing you to choose the best offer.

About the data

[1] The number of unused cars was calculated by applying the percentage of unused cars (4%) to the total number of licensed cars in the UK. According to SMMT data for 2023 (published April 2024), there were 35.6 million registered cars in the UK, meaning approximately 1.4 million of these cars are unused.

The percentage of the public who own a car they do not use (4%) was collected by surveying 1,000 UK adults via YouGov. The survey ran on 21 February 2024 and respondents were selected at random. All information was taken directly from the results of this survey unless otherwise stated.

[2] A car valuation of £6,717.88 was taken from Carwow’s internal valuation and sales data, using the lowest quartile value. This was applied to the number of unused cars in the UK to get a total value of £9.5bn.

[3] The top 10 in-demand makes and models were taken from Carwow’s internal data, based on the average number of bids and the gross number of cars sold for makes with at least 100 listings since January 2024. These two variables were used to define ‘demand’.

[4] To calculate the estimated number of unused cars for the most in-demand makes, 4% was applied to the total number of licensed cars in the UK for each make. These figures were sourced from DVLA statistics from the end of 2021. This was the latest data available at the time of writing, therefore, true figures are likely to be higher due to increased car licenses over the last three years.